Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Will They Apologise?

The "Reverend" Pat Robertson, the popular televangelist, has stated that President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela should be assassinated because he is inimical to American interests and because he is encouraging "communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." (ed note: he also, importantly, pointed out that any assasination of Chavez would not likely stop oil shipments to the U.S.) This is the latest in the long line of outrageous statements Robertson has made but even more ludicrous is the fact that there are people who are still willing to listen to him. With leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, and Franklin Graham, all of whom have made hateful statements about Islam and Muslims in the past, we need to ask what ever happened to the so called Christian ideals of compassion and tolerance. I guess their idea of compassion is bombing countries to smithereens or invading them for cheap oil, while making pious statements about freedom.

There have also been calls from right wing columnists and at least one Republican that Makkah and Madinah should be nuked the next time America is attacked. Surf a few of the mainstream right wing sites where attacking Muslims and Islam has become de rigeur.To them all Muslims are the enemy. Our lives mean nothing; the stench of their hypocrisy is unbearable. Case in point is the growing opposition to the war in Iraq fuelled by their casualties, but few Americans really know about the nearly 100,000 Iraqis who are estimated by the British medical journal Lancet to have died. Why should they? After all, we are all expendable. Meanwhile,
airheads like Michael Savage and Ann Coulter (to name a few) have heaped filth on our Deen with nary a protest from their co-religionists.

The point that I am trying to make is simple. All the examples point to a common factor: that almost every one involved in attacking our religion and its adherents is a White Christian (and please do not accuse me of profiling) and for the most part a right winger. Taking the lead from various Muslim organisations both in North America and Europe who have repeatedly denounced acts of terrorism and violence by the misguided members of our community, I call upon the leaders of White Christian churches, organisations, and communities to condemn without reservation this verbal terrorism that has been unleashed against their Muslim countrymen. Maybe,they should start a 'Not in My Name' campaign akin to the one spearheaded by CAIR in which they wholeheartedly denounce the hatred that is being spread by their co religionists. What about apologising to the millions of people whose countries have been invaded, bombed or ruthlessly exploited by their government and the ones before it? And if they state that Christianity does not preach the message expounded by their lunatic fringe, then we should remind them that we have been trying to say the same thing for the past 4 years but to no avail. Perhaps,they will then understand how it is to be Muslim in North America!

If every individual Muslim is to be held responsible for the dastardly acts of a few extremists then I demand the same kind of accountability from the average White Christian. Your silence reeks of collusion. And before you accuse me of rushing to judgement, may I remind you that we feel the same way every time our entire community is pilloried in the media? You cannot apply different standards nor can the rules of cricket be tailored to your advantage. A level playing field is all that we want; is that too much to ask?

Related: Why Pat Robertson Isn't Treated as a Terrorist


Blogger Liaquat Ali said...

Why do they hate us?

12:32 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

A recent poll (by the Arab American Institute) revealed that 23% of Americans support the idea of threatening to bomb Mecca.

Also, did Billy Graham say that Islam is evil? I think it was his son, Franklin.

4:46 AM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

Great post AJ. Pretty much everything they accuse us of,they themselves are guilty off. THats why I've always used the term "Christofascists" to describe people like Robertson.
They are criminals, they committ terrorism, their religious leaders preach hatred etc. Just look at the history of the most destructive wars the world has ever known and the answer will be right there.
Yes Ann, it was Franklin Graham who made those false and vile statements. He simply inherited daddy's empire after a lifetime spent on drugs, and bikes.

4:30 PM  
Blogger ajsuhail said...

Liaquat, you asked 'why do they hate us?'I would like you to share your thoughts on this with us.

Dr Maxtor, Thanks for the kind words.

Ann, you are right.It was Franklin not Billy.

9:52 PM  
Blogger ajsuhail said...

a great post from americablog.blogspot.com

Next time Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, or anyone working for the religious right visits the UK, I want to see our loyal British readers petition their government to have these people deported for fostering hate in violation of anti-terror laws. In fact, you can petition your government right now to put these people on an official watch list:
Clarke also said a "database of individuals around the world who have demonstrated these unacceptable behaviors will be developed" and made available to immigration officers monitoring those entering Britain. He did not specify who would compile the list or how extensive it might be.
More on this story here:
The British government will deport and ban people who "foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence," the country's top law enforcement official announced Wednesday.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke outlined the new policy, the most detailed explanation to date of proposals announced this month by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Clarke said a list of "unacceptable behaviors" includes the use of Web sites, writing, preaching, publishing or distributing materials that "seek to provoke others to terrorist acts" or "foster hatred."

"Individuals who seek to create fear, distrust and division in order to stir up terrorist activity will not be tolerated by the government or by our communities," Clarke said.
Well this should be easy. Pat Robertson has called for the State Dept to be nuked and for the assassination of a foreign head of state, and let's not forget his thinly-veiled threats against 3 sitting US Supreme Court justices. As for fostering hatred, there is ample evidence to convict Britain's and America's religious right of that.

They wanted a war on terror, let's give them one. They wanted a government that throws citizens in jail with no due process, let's give them one. They want to live in a society where anyone can be imprisoned simply because of their minority views, let's give them one.

10:33 AM  
Blogger ariadne said...

As a white American who was raised Christian, I completely agree with you. It's scary to see how much these extremists have hijacked the term "Christian" and sold it as mainstream. It's not exactly what Christ preached.

I don't know the 23%who answered that poll that Ann mentions are, but please know that they do not represent the majority of Americans--despite what the (US) press says.

8:23 PM  

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